Dear President Elect Donald Trump,
I know how you can become one of the greatest presidents in US history.
It is simple.
It is straightforward, and it is something only YOU can do.
Not Hillary Clinton. Not Paul Ryan. Not Mike Pence. YOU.
1) Forget about making friends. Instead, surround yourself with a diverse group of thoughtful people on your staff and cabinet who are both Republican, Democrat, and people of diverse race and beliefs.
2) On inauguration day, tell Congress you will not sign any legislation that does not have bi-partisan support. Period. End of story. Don’t even bring it to your desk because it will be outright vetoed. Tell them to get their act together and start doing their job. Be the force you are, unhampered by etiquette or the ever pressing need to dial for dollars. Draw a line across the presidential seal and tell them they may not cross it unless they have developed plans together.
3) Show the political establishment and the lobbyists who think they own you and your party that no one controls you by nominating the highly regarded and exceptionally qualified appellate court judge Merrick Garland for Supreme Court Justice. With this one move, you will make clear that you are in no way beholden to anyone. The move will freak everyone out — throwing them off their game, and giving you—President Elect Trump—unprecedented power. People want to believe that once you’re in the Oval Office they will be able to control you. Show them they can not.
4) Set a model for behavior. You can be tough, but you can also be compassionate. Opt for compassion. Compassionate leaders are the ones who cause people to unconsciously touch their hearts with gratitude. Opt for people touching their hearts, not raising their arms in a Nazi salute.
President Elect Trump, your legacy could one day be heralded by doing what you promised: draining DC’s swamp of entrenched self-interests. But the only way to do that is to force lawmakers to work together. Force them to develop a health care plan, a jobs plan, a tax plan, a climate change plan, a defense plan, an education plan, a trade plan, and so on, which adopts the best ideas from all sides of the issues.
No one party or individual has all the answers.
Force all sides to do the job they were elected to do.
If you are able to do this at this time in our history, when partisanship appears to matter more than country, people will indeed build more towers to your name.
Thank you for considering these ideas,